L'Avenir history (English)
l'Avenir (French expression for "Future")
Bicycle manufacture began in 1898 by Frans Mariën in Koningshooikt named Korporaal (Corporal) and has always been one of the most representative Belgian bicycle manufacturers, having survived two world wars and several financial crises.
In 1912 the name was changed into "L'avenir" and at that time the company moved from Koningshooikt to Lier, to a factory near the railway station.
The best period for the company was after the first world war, between 1919 until the economic crisis of the 1930s, from which they were slow to recover.
Interrupted by the second world war and faced with numerous difficulties including the lack of spare parts, the company's 30 employees celebrated its 50th anniversary in 1948.
In the fifties they began manufacture of motorcycles and mopeds and in 1957 around 5000 mopeds left the factory. Production continued at this rate until 1971 when Japanese competition became too strong.
However, the construction of bicycles was running well and at end of 1970 they had sold more then 15.000 bicycles for the year.
Despite the good sales, there were still some hard years. A bicycle was at that time a simple product with a low price.
In 1966 the company started with the distribution of the Dutch "Gazelle" bicycles and in 1975 they built a brand new factory at Lier, with new production lines.
The oil crisis of 1973 provoked the rediscovery of the bicycle and l'Avenir survived.
Since 1966 there was co-operation with "Gazelle" and from 1978 also with the Italian brand, "Cicli Cinzia".
The 1980s started with the introduction of recreational bicycles, going further on the 90s, despite the heavy competition from the Far East.
L'avenir has seen two changes of the century and is doing very well, particularly when one considers that the average lifespan of a Belgian company is 40 years.
They always stayed independent and financed their production with their own capital and never borrowed foreign capital.
The company has now sold more then two million bicycles, known for their excellent quality.
A constant line followed by the l'Avenir company was their loyalty to the professional market of bicycle dealers, within the strong belief that only professionals could guarantee the quality on lifetime of their products, by keeping the sales and the maintenance on the same point.
Thanks to RM2 at at chello.be
Wed Nov 02 2005
The images above and many others courtesy Michaël Reyntjens.
Thu Dec 16 2010
dirkvhn<at>hotmail dot com
L'Avenir HMW engine
I am looking for orig. pictures, model name and colours of this (red) bike. The third picture is of my L'Avenir several years ago, I sold it (stupid)!. The last picture is of the sports-model with HMW-engine.
Sun Jun 20 2010
couleurs originales des motorettes l'avenir
l'avenir voir photo en annexe
pourriez-vous me dire où trouver des informations sur les couleurs originales des modèles fabriqués par la marque l'avenir ?
Sun Jan 07 2007
dirk.keuleers1 at at telenet.be
l'avenir sport '63
hi this is dirk keuleers
from weerde (belgium)and i have recendly restored this l'avenir sports-bike from '63.
it has a 3 speed handchange sachs engine
Sat Apr 22 2006
dschied at at yahoo dot com
bicycle and motorcycle locks
I was hoping that you may have the information for the manufacturer of Avenir locks that are sold in the United States. I got this contact form through research about Avenir in France that makes Mopeds.
Michigan - USA